Kombucha (a beverage) has been under scrutiny for quite some time. There are those that praise it as an elixir of sorts; it is a fermented tea beverage that is supposedly good for the health, but there have been those that warn against it.
As per Wikipedia, by 2019 the Kombucha industry has amassed an impressive $1.7 billion in revenue across the board. It originated in China, some sources say, while others indicate that it was also used in parts of Europe earlier on. (Not to be confused with Japanese Kombucha tea, which is a seaweed tea.)
Regardless of where it originated, the tea or rather beverage, is a fermented drink. Kombucha is made with a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” or (SCOBY), according to the aforementioned Wikipedia page on the beverage (link above), and the whole process is essentially derived from the fermentation of this yeast and bacteria, very similar to how vinegar is made…from the ‘mother’ that is found in vinegar, the SCOBY acting like the aforementioned ‘mother.’
This culture of bacteria and yeast is added to a broth or tea and thus the fermentation process begins…
But despite its popularity, is Kombucha beneficial to overall health?
Like anything else on this planet, there is an upside and a downside here. Everything on earth is healthy up to a certain point.
For example, watermelon is exceptional to promote good circulation, but in copious amounts it can lead to weight gain and even diabetes because of the natural sugar/fructose content found within the delicious fruit. Kombucha too has benefits and it has its nasty side effects.
The main benefit of Kombucha is of course the amount of probiotics found within the beverage.
"“Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called ‘good’ or ‘helpful’ bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy,” as per Web MD."
According to a piece published over at health.clevelandclinic.org, Kombucha is also good for helping reduce inflammation. It is also apparently an “immune booster” as well as an antioxidant, which are of course great for reducing dangerous types of cultures/toxins in the body that are harmful and may lead to terrible diseases.
Sugar is an important part of the fermentation process when it comes to Kombucha specifically, and because of this some Kombucha may be way too high as far as sugar content is concerned, and we all know the dangers of consuming too much sugar.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, and despite overall gut health benefits that Kombucha supposedly helps spur on, others have experienced upset stomachs because of the drink.
It may be bad for the teeth, and the amount of caffeine found within may also be a tad too much and therefore dangerous to consume, especially in copious amounts.
The drink, if consumed in large amounts may also lead to liver damage, so if you already have issues with the liver, or say drink another beverage that also isn’t too good for your liver, perhaps staying away from Kombucha altogether may be a good idea.
So in the end, moderation is key, as the old saying goes, but that, dear readers, is easier said than done.